Dextrose Prolotherapy


Prolotherapy, or ligament reconstructive therapy, is a safe, nonsurgical treatment for chronic pain, arthritis, and other tissue injuries. Common conditions treated with prolotherapy are arthritis, back pain, neck pain, whiplash injuries, TMJ pain, and injuries to the wrist, elbows, knees, ankles, shoulders, and hips.

Prolotherapy targets the injured tissue that has been damaged or weakened from injury or age and stimulates the body's own natural healing mechanisms to repair the injured musculoskeletal tissue. Through stimulating the body’s own natural system for healing, the body is able to restore strength and integrity to the area. The procedure involves injecting a solution into the damaged joint, tendon or ligament. This stimulates the body to begin the healing process that will restore function and strength.


Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) work through a very simple principle. The injection of the stimulating solution at the site of the injured, broken down tissue, stimulates the body to grow new collagen, the building blocks of connective tissue. The body is capable of repairing and rebuilding tissue though its own natural ability to heal. During this repair process, the body will make stronger and more functional tissue.

When injuries occur, the body may not completely heal itself due to a lack of blood flow or proper treatment. For this reason, tendons and ligaments heal very slowly. Over time, the ligaments and tendons become weak and unsupportive, allowing the bones to move beyond their normal boundaries. This leads to the muscles surrounding the area trying to “support and protect” the area instead of the ligaments and tendons. The increased muscle tension results in spasm, pain, and will eventually lead to arthritis. Without the support of the ligaments in a joint, the tissue between the joint wears down, leading to dysfunctional joints and arthritis.

The reflex of the muscles to try to stabilize the injured joint when the ligaments are weak or injured, leads to tightness, spasm, burning, achiness, and pain in the area. The individual may notice the area has painful “knots” in the area. The tight muscles, further decrease the blood flow to the area, creating further damage and pain. The pain from one body area may be referred to other areas connected to the area through nerves or other tissue. If the injury is in the back, the pain or dysfunction can actually be felt in the body’s organs.

Common Conditions Treated with Prolotherapy

  • Joint Instability (including shoulders, knees, ankles, hips, spine and other joints)
  • Ligament injuries
  • Tendon injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Neck pain
  • Chronic back pain
  • Temporomandibular (TMJ) joint pain
  • Ankle sprains
  • Achilles tendinosis and plantar fasciitis
  • Tennis and golfers elbow

More Info on the Procedure

The most basic prolotherapy solution involves sugar (dextrose) along with an anesthetic (procaine or lidocaine). The sugar acts as the proliferant, stimulating the body to heal itself. There is no steroids or cortisone in the solution. Cortisone may cause a temporary relief to the area, but over time will cause additional weakening of the tissue and chronic pain.

The number of prolotherapy treatments needed is dependent on the severity of your injury and your overall health at the time of treatment. Each person will experience a distinctive response to prolotherapy.

A patient may need anywhere from 3-6 treatments, with some patients requiring less and some requiring more. The frequency of treatments is typically every 3–6 weeks.

Prolotherapy has been deemed a much safer remedy to enhancing the body’s healing process for an injury as opposed to other surgical methods. Millions of prolotherapy treatments have been performed on people who have experienced an injury or who experience chronic discomfort.

Those who receive prolotherapy may not need to set aside downtime following their procedure. Some patients may experience mild soreness following their treatment. To observe effectiveness, all patients will schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr. Kelner and her team between 3-6 weeks following their treatment.